Creating New Habits: Sticking to Resolutions in (and Outside) the Workplace
It’s a new year, a chance to have a clean slate. As humans, we want to make the most of this clean start to a fresh new year. What better way to start a new year out by analyzing what we did wrong last year and vowing to fix it in the coming year.
New Year’s Resolutions.
They can be personal or professional, secret or open for the world to know. They’re made with the best of intentions and the strongest of convictions.
And yet, only 8% of those that make resolutions will actually succeed.
Why do we tend to fail? What takes us from being hopeful and determined to slowly giving up? and how can we get those resolutions to stick?
In the 1970’s, a book called Psycho–Cyberkinetics by Maxwell Maltz sent a popular notion out into society: It takes three weeks to create a habit and three days to break one.
It’s a catchy saying and for some people, 21 days is ample time to create a habit. However, according to a 2009 study, the time it takes to form a habit really isn’t that clear-cut. Researchers from University College London examined the new habits of 96 people over the space of 12 weeks, and found that the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is actually 66 days; furthermore, individual times varied from 18 to a whopping 254 days.
So, on New Year’s Day, the odds are against us already. We may vow to be better at our jobs, to find a way to improve our processes or work habits but while many will try, most will fail.